It’s difficult to track down the origin of this brilliant idea, some say American, some say Australian. A popular “luxury” dish from the 1950’s which remained a high end dish until well into the 1990’s. Born in an era when oysters were plentiful and dirt cheap, if you can imagine that, food history says that the staple of the lower classes: Steak and Kidney pie was Steak and Oyster pie, until oysters became more expensive than kidney.

Seriously, what is not to like, eye fillet steak and oysters with a blanket of bacon, now that’s my kind of food!

Even though you don’t see it in restaurants any-more, I still love carpetbag steak and I cook it at home for a special treat at least a couple of times a year. I serve it with a simple refreshing pea coleslaw.

Carpetbag Steak

2 Eye Fillet Steaks 2” (50+ mm thick) from the middle of the fillet

6 Fresh Oysters

2 Large strips of bacon to wrap the steaks

Worcestershire Sauce


Smoked Butter

Use a sharp pointed knife to carefully cut a small slit pocket just half way up each fillet, gently encourage the pocket with the tip of the knife, the aim is for the inside of the pocket to be bigger than the opening, do one side first then turn the knife over and do the other side.

Cut Steak
cut Steak
stuff with oyster

Tip the oysters from their shells into a bowl and wash them with a couple of dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, sprinkle with a little smoked paprika.

Using your fingers, insert 3 oysters into the pocket of the steak.

Lay the bacon flat and place the steak on its edge on one end of the bacon making sure the pocket is to the top.

Wrap with a bacon strip around the steak and secure with a toothpick.

Wrap in Bacoin
Wrap in Bacon

Season the wrapped steaks with salt and set aside.

I sometimes cook this in a cast iron skillet, but this time I’m using the charcoal grill.

I start by grilling the bacon on the sides, then the exposed ends of the steak.

Grill Bacon

When you have a nice “plate colour”, move the steak off the direct heat to cook through.

Test the internal temperature, It’ll be the oyster temperature you are testing in the middle of the steaks, you are looking for 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

When your steaks are almost ready, grill the prawns.

Plated Steak

Place the steaks on plates. Put a knob of Smoke Butter on top and serve with the prawns and pea coleslaw.

Be careful of the toothpicks.

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